Pepper Back (Canadian) Bacon a la Bearcarver

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by disco, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have been making back (Canadian) bacon using Pop's brine for awhile. I add some maple syrup to it and inject the loin. It is very good but I found some loin rib ends on sale at the supermarket. I like them for back (Canadian) bacon because they usually have some fat lines in them. Also, they are thinner than the centre loin which makes them perfect for a dry cure.

    Here are the loins I picked up.

    The first thing I did was measure the thickest part of the loins.

    The thickest part were two inches thick. I usually don't dry cure a loin that is thicker than 2 inches. I have slightly modified Bearcarver's formula for how long to dry cure bacon. I multiply the thickest part in inches by 2 and add 5. So, 2 inches times 2 plus 5 equals 9 which is the number of days I will dry cure the bacon.

    Next, I weighed each loin to determine how much Mortons Tenderquick I would need for each loin. It is important to get the amount of cure right if you are dry curing. The first loin was just over 1 kilogram. You need to use 15 grams of Tenderquick per each 500 grams of pork loin. So I needed just over 30 grams of Tenderquick for that loin.

    Following Bearcarver's recipe, I added 10 ml of brown sugar to the Tenderquick. My own addition was 15 ml of maple syrup to the Tenderquick and brown sugar.

    Then, I rubbed the mixture all over the pork loin. Before doing this, I put the pork loin on a plate. It is important that you get all the mixture of the cure into the plastic bag you cure the bacon in and the plate makes that easier.

    I put the pork in a large Ziploc bag and made sure I got all the cure mixture in the bag. I sealed it and put it in the fridge.

    I repeated this procedure with the second loin.

    Both loins went in the fridge for 9 days. I turned the bags and rubbed the liquid that came out into the loins every morning.

    After 9 days, I took the loins out of the bags and rinsed them of under running water. Then I soaked them in water for 20 minutes. I changed the water and soaked them for another 20 minutes.

    I dried each loin with paper towels and put them in the fridge, uncovered, for 5 hours.

    I like to make a new smoke with a version of the old smoke so I can compare. So I only took one loin to make into pepper bacon. I rubbed maple syrup into it and sprinkle a liberal amount of coarse ground pepper over it.

    It went back into the fridge with the unpeppered version overnight.

    The next morning I put them on the rack for my Bradley and put in the probes of a little present I got myself for Christmas, a Thermoworks BlueTherm Duo. I think I purchased the Rolls Royce of remote thermometers but I will write a review later.

    The loins were nice and dry so I did not put them in the smoker without smoke at 140 f for a couple of hours to develop pellicle.

    I put the loins in a 180 F Bradley over maple smoke. I only left the smoke on for four hours. The unpeppered loin was ready after five and half hours and the peppered took six hours. I took both to an internal temperature of 145 F.

    I put them in the fridge under plastic wrap overnight.

    The next day I sliced them with my trusty ham slicer.

    Of course, you have to fry some up and try it.

    The Verdict

    As usual, Bearcarver's recipe worked great. The straight up bacon has a great but not overpowering salt taste and a nice sweetness. However, here is where my advanced age and stupidity caught up to me. I had forgotten how the maple syrup just adds sweetness and not much maple flavour. Considering the cost of maple syrup, I will just double the brown sugar to 20 ml per kilogram of pork next time and leave out the maple syrup. It will be easier to rub in a totally dry rub as well.

    As for the peppered version, it is the best bacon I have made. It had way more pepper flavour than I expected and the touch of heat with the sweet salty bacon taste is magnificent. I love it!

    Put some spice in your life and make peppered back (Canadian) bacon.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Something doesn't look quite right there Disco. I'd suggest you send all of that back bacon down here to my independent testing laboratory so I can get a closer look 😄

    I really need to cure some more bacon soon!

    Points for another great tutorial!
  3. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    That looks great.
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks great Disco.

    Nice therm you have too.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    David you've done it again! Beautiful bacon. Thanks for pointing out the maple syrup issue. I have the same problem with adding the good stuff to recipes as its just stupid expensive around here. My wife found maple extract the other day and I was wondering if that might be an alternative. She didn't buy it, said she wanted to ask me first if it would work. (I was a little shocked at her interest in making bacon, perhaps all my experimentation in the kitchen is working!)
    My thinking was for a dry cure I could just put the salt/sugar mixture in the food processor and give it a few pulses with a teaspoon of extract. I'm hoping that'll basically make a reasonable facsimile of a maple cure. For brine curing I could obviously just add it to the brine. Heading out of town later today but I think I'll be trying it when we get back next week!
  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the points, Case. I did send you some but there appears to be a problem with food stuffs getting past your custom inspectors. It also seems they are putting on weight!
    Thanks, Bear. It was  mighty tasty too.

  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Adam. It is a method I will use again.
    Thanks, MD. I have tried the flavouring and it gives a bit more flavour but not enough for me to bother with again. The only way I have ever got a decent maple flavour was to mix some maple syrup with some of Pop's brine and inject at the beginning of a wet cured bacon.

    However, keep experimenting, you get to eat the bacon!

  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great Disco!![​IMG]

    Mighty Tasty!![​IMG][​IMG]

    I gave up adding Maple Syrup years ago----To expensive & I never got any Maple flavor with Real Maple Syrup.

    They tell me Maple Sugar works, but I never got around to trying it.

    You're wrong about the timing---Your way is just about exactly how I do it.

    I Figure how many half inches----Plus 2 days for minimum curing time, which I never use.

    Then I add 2 or 3 days to that depending on which is most convenient for my smoking.

    So with your 2" Loins, I would get----4 + 2 =6 + 2 or 3 = 8 or 9 days in cure.

    So the only difference between yours and mine is you add 5 days at the end, and I add 4 or 5 days depending on which day I'd rather smoke.

  9. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Har! I am so used to being wrong, I think it is a mistake when I'm right! However, when I said I did it differently from you, I was referring to not worrying about 1/2 inches. I just multiply the thickest part by two and add 5.

    Instead of 4 half inches being 4 days plus 2 for minimum plus 2 or 3 more, my mind works better saying 2 inches times 2 plus 5. Six of one or half a dozen of the other. Different ways of saying the same formula.

    I know it comes out the same as yours but I am not smart enough to mess around with 1/2 inches.

    Thanks again for your great methodology on this bacon. I love the texture and the taste.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL----I made it easier than they taught me 5 years ago!!!!

    Check this out----------They taught me to count how many 1/4" there were in Half the thickness---Then add 2, etc. That way was stupid!!

    So it still came out the same, but you had to divide first by 2, the multiply by 4.

    I went to my way (using 1/2") because of bellies that are 2 1/2" thick---That would be 5 days + 2 + 2 or 3 days = 9 or 10 days.

    You & I are both using a better calculation than breaking it down to how many quarter inches are there in half the thickness!!!!

    BTW Disco: I got about 8 pounds of Pork Loin in cure for 2 Days currently.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  11. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    Gotta try youralls recipe! Have done HI Mountain and a hit. Been looking at bying maple sugar for bellie bacon. Just finishing up our last bbb.[​IMG]
  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, you and Pops have saved me and a lot of people some pain. I did a lot of research on making bacon before I found this forum. It was so great to find your dry cure method and Pops brine method that just work.

    Get than loin in the pan, Sir!
    Dang, now I want to make BBB. I think you'll love Bearcarver's method and if you continue on to try the pepper addition I did to it, I think you will enjoy it!

    Please post whatever you do. We all learn from seeing what others do!

  13. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice Disco, great thread & the end result is just awesome... My next adventure is gonna hopefully be some of this.... I just hope it turns out half as good as yours did here !

  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Har, Brew! It can't be hard to do, I did it. I do recommend you don't use maple syrup in the brining mixture and substitute extra brown sugar. I couldn't taste any maple syrup in the finished product. I just use 2 teaspoons of brown sugar a pound or 20 ml a kilogram.

    I look forward to your post if you do try it.

  15. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Disco, I'll let ya know when I give em a go !
  16. Dear Mr. Disco,

    I saw your recipe and as a new smoker, just got my MES40 this Christmas, I followed your recipe to the letter. My temps and times almost came out exactly like yours. Beginners luck possibly but here is a compliment for you. You see, my wife absolutely hates anything smoked. Let me stress "HATES". But I cooked some up this morning after yesterday's smoke and an overnight rest in rather fridge and she thought it was spectacular. Even caught her later in the day snitching from the plate of left overs in the fridge. Thanks for the guidance. I'll keep watching you for other recipes. Again, many many thanks!
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bob, you have me blushing! 

    It is a process. I learned to make bacon using this method from Bearcarver. Then I changed it to meet my tastes. I am sure you will add your style and taste to it as you continue to smoke.

    In the meantime, thank you for your kind words and I am really glad your missus liked it too.

    She Who Must Be Obeyed professes to not like smoked food either. If I may suggest some dishes that she has come to like even though they are smoked:
    • Chicken (particularly wings)
    • cheese
    • double smoked ham
    • summer sausage
    • kielbasa
    The other news is you are likely addicted now. Sorry, there is no cure or 10 step program. You will just be doomed to have fun and eat good food.

  18. Regardless, how you add it up, it adds up to some fine eating! I recently made a batch following Bears "Step by Step" and for having never done it before, I was very impressed.

    So many of you guys make it so much easier for those of us just learning!

    Thanks and [​IMG]to you both!
  19. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much for the kind words. I understand what you are saying.  Three years ago I had been smoking for a couple of months with minimal success and then I found this forum. I too learned from Bear's step by steps, Seen Red's kind advice, Nepas' sausage expertise, Pop's stories, and so many others who made this hobby make sense to me. Just keep reading others' ideas and experiment on your own. You will have much more fine eating!

  20. gravey

    gravey Smoke Blower

    I have a loin in the fridge for this very reason! Just needed the motivation to get it started. Thx for the motivation!!

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